Monday, October 10, 2016

The Ultimate Spinach Salad

Now look, it's not my job, duty nor desire to convert anyone to a plant-based style of eating, I do however encourage you to play with all types of food, even that which you may not like, just for the fun of it, to see what you can create, from your heart/mind, for your precious body.
Sure, veggies are "good for you," but they doesn't mean they can't be exciting- and allow me to tell you, this salad, with it's bite after bite of different tastes, will continue to surprise your taste buds.
Funny that hey? I seem to say that often. ;)

And as always, can we not give a shit about the nutritional content, the calories, the fat, protein or carbs? Can we just eat (everything) as it is: Food, glorious food?

Play with your food <3


2-3 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
Handful of dates
1 clove garlic
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
Bunch of fresh basil - chopped roughly
A pack of Spinach  (a few good handfuls)
1/2 Cup Grilled Carrots (Optional- they were leftovers and knew they'd fit in perfectly, sweet potato would also be great, or a (roasted) red pepper. Get creative ;)
1/2 Red Onion, chopped fine
A handful of alfalfa sprouts (Optional)
1/4 cup Toasted sesame seeds
Handful Pumpkin seeds

Toast sesame seeds, set aside.
In a large bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar, dates, garlic, salt, nutritional yeast, & basil.
Add rest of the ingredients and toss.

Easy ;)

Monday, October 3, 2016

Spicy Peach and Pear Chutney

I like fast food - really delicious homemade fast food that is - so I carry on sharing the things of my heART that are of little fuss and will garner very much pleasure.

With a few very ripe peaches and pears at hand, I decided to make a chutney last week, and I must say, it's so so so good. 

Ingredients (Rough amounts):

3 cups Peaches & Pears 
1.5 Red Onions 
1 cup sliced dates
A knob of Fresh Ginger (3cmx3cm)
1 Tbsp dry Mint 
1 Tbsp Rosemary 
1 Tbsp Thyme
2/3 Cup White Vinegar
1/3 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tsp Salt 
1/2 Tsp Chili Flakes
1 Tsp Coriander Seeds
1 Tsp Mustard Seeds
3 Cloves
Cinammon Stick  
A whole lotta love ;) 

Chop up your fruits, slice the onions, & grate/finely chop ginger. 
Throw everything into a pot, on medium heat and simply walk away. It'll look like chaos, but the smell will hook you in a short while ;).
 I cooked mine, lidless for about 45mins, tasted it, played with some of the ingredients (so easy to get it so right), and left it simmering, with lid on for another little while longer.
Essentially, you want to reduce the liquids, so carry on cooking til you've got a good stew going. :) 

Yes, that's all. Let me know how it goes, what you ate your chutney with, and questions, should you have some. :)
It goes perfectly with a good old French Cheese, meat, atop your favorite plant based burger (note to self, get that up soon ;)),  or the traditional way, accompanying a curry, or samosa's. There's just no limits on what we can create, right? Let's throw away what we "know," about food, and play with it like a child experimenting and exploring. 

Lotsa love :**


Sunday, October 2, 2016

Sprouting Wheatberries - easy as pie!

The naked berry
If you're still new to the art of sprouting, allow me to make it really easy for you.

All you need is a bowl, wheatberries, water, strainer and a few days.

I happened stumble on the nutty grain - where our beloved (wheat) bread comes from, sometime last year.

In a sprouting phase, I did what I'm about to extrapolate on below, sprouting the berries first, before drying them on low heat in the oven and then grounding down to a flour. We had the best digestive biscuits as far as memory serves, though an actual loaf of bread? Can't remember.
After 3 days 

How to sprout?

Take a medium sized (salad) bowl
Add a cup of berries
Wash and then cover with water
Allow to soak for a day (or night)
Strain and rinse the berries in a sieve/colander with small holes
Allow berries to air out for the day (or night) then rinse again

Wheat berries generally sprout quickly, and have a beautifully nutty sweet flavor to them.

I tend to soak overnight, and then rinse in morning and evening. When I'm happy with the roots, I blanch the berries in hot water as I prefer them as such. Can you eat them raw? Try them and see. :)

How my berries were enjoyed:

Over French Onion Soup
 (w/o cheese & bread)

Close Up 

Main Dish: Sprouted Wheat Berries over Sprouted Curried Mung Beans,
with my Home Made Spicy Peach & Pear Chutney
All made with love by yours truly:
This Little Cookie :** <3

Please, I ask you to play, create, share, inspire and repeat. Love you! 


PS: as you know, I'm concerned most with beautiful food, made with love, and a firm believer in food is the energy/meaning you give to it.  I'm sure there's a heap of benefits to all of the above, and should you be interested, I encourage you to search further. 
For me the calorie count is: love
Fat content is: love
Carb contest is: love
Protein content is: love

You get the drift ;) 
More coming up on the topic of food/energy/love over at :)  

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Vegan Indian Salad (Raita)

For the vegans, plant-based foodies, and well, all foodies out there (meat or no meat), I have  

Calling all foodies out there, I have the absolute best version of "Raita" (Indian Yogurt Salad), without the yogurt ;). 

Sure, this caters to vegans/plant based foodies, though I promise you, even if you eat meat you may well love this! 

We are making the above marvelousness, and it's so easy!

What you'll need (roughly what I used):

3 medium sized tomatoes 
1/2 medium English cucumber 
1-2 tbsp olive oil 
pinch of salt (to begin with, taste and add more in pinches should you need). 
1-2 tsp of pan toasted cumin seeds (up to your taste)
1-2 tbsp Nutritional Yeast (A vegan/vegetarians BEST friend. See pic below). 
1 small onion chopped finely
A bunch of fresh coriander 
A whole lotta love :D 

Putting it together:

Into a bowl add:
Chop tomatoes and cukes to your liking - I prefer small pieces.
Chop or coriander  (I used coriander shoots- which are just delectable!)
Oil + salt + cumin + nutritional yeast and mix together, so it's somewhat like a paste. 

Add veggies to the bowl and mix. 
Please taste to see if nutritional yeast and salt are balanced. 
Add coriander 

C'est toute :) You're done in about 10 mins. 

Serve with our favorite curry dish OR, just atop plain rice. 

This was how it ended for me, bite after bite of deliciousness! :) 

PS: here's the nutritional yeast I was talking about. It offers such a beautiful flavor to food. I was seriously amazed at how much it altered my food. 

Should you try it, please let me know:).

As always, lotsa love and play with your food! :**

Monday, August 10, 2015

Curried Peas and Cheese a.k.a Muttar Paneer ( Curry paste instructions included! :)

I ventured to the grocery store the other day, intent on picking up stuff for a very traditional curry, "aloo gobi," or, 'potato & cauliflower,' though wouldn't you believe it- I forgot the cauliflower! 

I'd had it in hand, with everthing else I needed (no shopping cart/not basket), though dropped a tub of sour cream. In cleaning the bit that had made its way to the ground, and having to put everything down, I left the cauliflower behind. 

It didn't even dawn on me til today (2 days later). 

I've been so immersed in designing, that cooking was a side gig over the weekend- and so much so, that eating too, wasn't of much importance as I was fed by creativity. 
In any case, there came a single moment when hunger struck after many hours, and I just started cooking, without knowing what the end result would be. That's precisely when this unplanned and super quick dish came about. 

I went through a paneer making phase last year, and made tons of the stuff, but wanted to try Slovak "tvaroh," or quark. It's basically the same thing as paneer, in my mind, so I went for it. 

I cooked it up lightly beforehand in mustard seeds, cumin, chili & salt. In fact, that wasn't a really necessary step, as the quark didn't hold its shape like traditional paneer cubes. It was more crumbly, so the idea of browning it fell through rather quickly. Never mind, it was but a few minutes, and the result was still fantabulous- no word of a lie. :) 

Also, you're getting two for one here, as I go step by step how to make curry paste -yes finally! I even wrote down everything as I was doing it, and took pictures for those of you, who like me, are visual learners. ;) 

Finished Cheese, (Paneer/Tvaroh/Quark).
-The recipe-
For the Cheese:
1 tbsp Coconut oil 
1/2 spoon cumin seeds 
1/2 tsp mustard seeds 
Pinch of chili flakes 
250g quark/tvaroh/paneer (I'll get a recipe up for you soon ;))
Pinch of salt 
Simply heat the oil in a pan, add the seeds, salt, & chili. Heat until the mustard seeds start to pop. Add cheese- cooking until water is released, and mixture is dry. 

(There may not be any excess water depending on the type of cheese you use- in any case, your cooking it to assimilate the flavors, & sure you could skip this step altogether, & just add the uncooked cheese to peas). 
Set aside. 

**Curry Paste Instructions 
Relative size of Onion/ginger/garlic

2 small onions 
8 cloves of garlic
1"square of ginger 
Handful dried curry leaves 
2 tbsp Ghee
1 tsp mustard seeds 
1 tsp cumin seeds 
1/4 tsp chili flakes 
2 tbsp tomatoe purée (approx 1/2 medium tomato) 
1 Heaping tsp garam masala 
1 cup water 
450g / 1 bag of frozen peas 

Mustard, cumin, tumeric & salt 

1- In a blender, combine onions, garlic & ginger. 

2- heat up ghee, on medium heat. Add mustard, cumin seeds, chili flakes, curry leaves & salt, until mustard seeds start to pop. 

3- Add onion/garlic/ginger purée, and cook for a few mins, adding water, if it starts to dry out. Give it a taste and see what you think at this stage. Remember, we're playing and co-creating :) 

Curry paste pre- tomatoes 
4- Add tomato purée turmeric & garam masala, and again, have a taste. Should be pretty heavenly by now. (Keep adding water, a little at a time, if it's drying out- unless you fancy a dry curry). 

5- Add the peas- no need to defrost, and the extra water will wet the whole curry. Cook time is very little, just until the peas are soft. A couple of minutes. 
Masala in! 
Tomatoes in! 

Peas please :) 
6- last but certainly not least, time to add the cheese. Mix everything & you're done :)) 

**Please note that even though I've given measurements, they are fairly general, and I really encourage you to play with the tastes. The most important thing is that you get the balance between the gharam masala, salt & liquid/cream that you choose to use- (water, coconut milk, yoghurt, sour cream, cream...etc). If you can maintain this balance, you'll win over many hearts, whether you're a beginner or not. :)) 

I didn't even think to make anything along with the curry as I wanted to get back to designing- though surely this dish is well paired with cumin rice or roti/ paratha- whatever you please. 

I may have skipped the rice/ roti, but definitely not a dollop of sour cream! 

I ate it for three meals, and each time it was better and better :)) 

Try it yourself a few times, and if you're really stuck, you can always drop me a line, and I'll personally come round and show you the way, (if you're in the vicinity, or Skype ). :) 

PS- I know it's not the best looking meal in the world, but I assure you, the below curry - made of the things I had on hand- potatoes & cabbage, was another winner. My husband mentioned something about marrying me again  ;)) 

FYI- it was based on the same curry paste used above (just more of everything), and I used sour cream at the very end to make the dish more creamy, as requested by Yurai, and of course, the whole thing was doused with love ;) 

**Play with your food! 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Red Split Lentils- Indian Style

Red Split Lentils are just about the easiest curry you can make, with absolutely no compromise on taste. Though I do take my sweet time to prepare any kind of food, I reckon this took me half an hour this morning, in total. I did go off and do some sewing whilst the lentils were boiling, but that's besides the point. Boil time was under 10 minutes, (after having soaked the lentils early this morning when I awoke). Total soak time must have been around two hours. When I saw that no more water was being absorbed it was time to cook! :) 

Not everyone soaks these lentils, but I find that it cuts down on cooking time drastically, to a mere 10 minutes.
Dry lentils 
Bloated and ready to cook! :) 

For this curry, I added a cinnamon stick, bayleaves, cardamum and salt to the water before adding the lentils. I would advise you to add the cardamum later on, in the 'turka,' or curry paste, Since the cooking time was so little, the flavor didn't come out too strong. 

I added the tumeric once the lentils were cooked (after 10 mins). You may well wish to end the whole process right here and now, should you choose, and you'd still get a tasty meal, not to mention, very pure food. 

We will take it a step further though, for those of you who wish to impress a guest who pops in for lunch, and you need to whip up something quick! ;) 

You'll see all the ingredients as well as full method below, but suffice it to say that the final step is a cinch, and makes a world of difference to this lentil curry. 

Ghee, Ginger & Spices
Pictured to the left here are all the goodies that went into the ghee (clarified butter- cooked very slowly on low heat to remove milk proteins, and best suited for Indian cooking). 

In the centre of the picture, next to the heart shaped ginger (you know me ;) ), you'll see a spoon, with a yellowish powder: HING, aka 'asafoetida.' 
It's the smelliest thing in the world, but a perfect digestive aid, which couples very well in Indian cooking, especially for the legumes & bean curries. With a touch of hing, you can eat in peace, without anticipation of the dreaded after gas!
If you can get over the smell, you'll soon learn that you won't cook without it. 
You don't use a lot, but if you don't use it at all, you just kind of notice that something is missing, though you can't quite put your finger on what that something is. It is indeed the stinky yellow powder!  

I personally, didn't grow up using it, and was only introduced to the spice a couple years back, and must admit, I was fairly nauseous from the smell at first, but I don't go without now:). 

What I learned today, is that Hing assimilates best in fat, so where I normally just add it to the lentils whilst they're boiling away, today it was the other way around, and I added it first to the ghee for about 15 seconds, before adding the rest of the spices. 

Now, I've not quite mentioned that when you make lentils, it's not the usual curry paste (Turka), that is used - the typical, onion, garlic ginger combo with masala. Well, that's not how I do it anyway. 
You use the same method- heat up your spices but only add ginger into the ghee, (no onion, garlic, masala), and once you've got that smell going on, after just a few minutes, add the magic to the finished lentils- easy peasy. 

Spices working their magic in ghee. 

My lentils came out fairy thick and I did use a hand blender to smooth them out, (which you can totally skip). You could add yoghurt, cream, coconut milk, more water, to thin the mixture, should you wish (and sure, you could add a tomato at the end-sometimes I do, sometimes not. Try it for yourself). 

How to make curried lentils - my style: 

300g Dry lentils which will swell to just under double @ 700g
Approx 3.5 cups of boiling water  
3 bay leaves
Cinnamon stick 
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp tumeric

Turka (curry sauce)
2 Tbsp Ghee
1/4 tsp Hing/ asafoetida
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
3x cardamum pods (cut in half to release seeds)
1/4 tsp chili flakes (or as you desire)
A handful of Dried curry leaves, to start with (add more if you wish at the end)
2 tbsp chopped ginger 

1- Add bayleaves, cinnamon stick, salt  lentils to boiling water. Scrape off scum from lentils, and cook for approximately 10minutes. The lentils will already be done (taste to make sure they're soft, and add more salt should you wish). 
2- Add turmeric, and give it a good mix, allow to simmer on low heat, whilst you prepare the 'turka.'

3-Warm up ghee in pan, and add hing. Heat up for approximately 15 seconds, before adding everything but the ginger to the pan. Once you have a beautiful aroma wafting, add the ginger, cook for about a minute, and add the whole mixture to the lentils. 

Yes, that's it :). 
As always, play with your food. :) 
Too thick? Add more water, or cream or yoghurt, or coconut milk. 
Too salty, same as above.
Not enough of a curry flavour? Add more curry leaves, and coriander (I only had shoots on hand, but by all means, go nuts!). Speaking of nuts, you could add flaked roasted almonds on top, or even roasted sesame seeds (black ones would look beautiful on the yellow of this dish). 

Go on, your turn to play and create. 

Do let me know how you get on. AND as I'm new at writing out recipes, I'd love your feedback! Am I easy enough to understand? Are you getting all the info? 
Please comment and ask away. :) 

Peace & Love with all that you are and do <3

Always serve with a good spoon of ghee on top :)))) 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Best (mostly) Raw Chocolate Torte- EVER.

I've made this delectable torte twice now, and I tell you, it gets better and better. Other than the four hour soak time for the cashews, it is about the easiest thing you can make, which would impress the fussiest eaters, and dare I say it, even non-dessert fans. (As in the case of a young fella, who actually went back for seconds).

Not another word without giving thanks to the person from whom I acquired this recipe: Anastasia Halldin, over at Infinite thanks!! 

Ready for some serious simplicity? (Unless you only have a small grinder, like myself, whereby it just takes a lot longer....and even then, if you look at the bright side, the torte and everyone who eats it, gets that much more love :). 

What you'll need: 

1 1/2 cups Almonds 
6 tbsp Cacao powder 
1 tbsp Maple syrup 
2 tbsp Coconut oil 
Pinch of salt 

2.5 cups Cashews (*soaked & drained)
1/3 cup Maple syrup
1/2 cup Coconut oil 
6 tbsp Cacao powder 
1/4 cup almond milk (I used cream, hence not truly raw)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract (I used beans from 2 vanilla pods). 
Juice from half small lemon 

1/4 cup Coconut oil 
1/4 cup Cacao powder 
4 tbsp Maple syrup 
1 tsp vanilla extract (I didn't use it)
Pinch of salt 

*As already mentioned, get your cashews soaking well before you wish to make the torte, at least three to four hours soak time.

Combine all crust ingredients in a food processor. Choose your coarseness, and grind longer for a finer crust, or less for more coarse texture. 

Press into cake pan, and place into freezer. 

Combine all filling ingredients in food processor. Blitz till smooth, and pour over crust. 

Place the torte back into the freezer for about an hour. 

To make the ganache, if the coconut oil is already at room temperature, melted, in a bowl, simply add the rest of the ingredients and whisk together, until you have a beautiful glossy sheen. 

If the coconut oil is hard, liquefy over a double boiler, then whisk in the rest of the ingredients. 

Add the ganache to the frozen cake, and watch it harden very quickly (love this part ;)). 

Place back into the freezer, until approximately an hour before serving. 

Use a hot knife to cut through the torte so as to keep it neat. 

Voila- c'est tout :)) 

Feel free to play around with the amount of cacao you use in the three separate layers. The first time I made it, the torte filling was lighter, looking more like milk chocolate, and this time, pure dark decadence. 
You can also add or reduce the amount of maple syrup. This recipe was just right for us all, with just the right amount of everything. 

As always, let me know if you try it, and tweak it somehow to give it your own signature ;D.